Not a day for black

The sun is high and the sky is blue. I actually heard birds this morning. 🙂 It’s a gorgeous spring day and not at all a day for black. And yet, it is.

I can’t thank you enough. So many of you replied and even left comments and all of you said you would remember Sean today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know that this story is not different from any other atrocity done to a child. We’ve had these hideous stories before and we will have them again. If I had one wish, one job I could do before I die, it would be to help as many children as I could. Yes, the environment and so many other causes are worthy. But for me, our children are the most overlooked, neglected, abused, abandoned part of society when they should be our greatest wealth, our highest treasure. Is there some currency worth more than the smile of child? Than their trust and their innocence? Not to me.

Thank you for taking the time to mark the memory of this little boy, ripped from his life in such an ugly way. To any other Trinis out there who might read these words, it’s time. Time for our country to wake up. Time for us to shed the black blanket of evil that has covered us. In a few short years we have gone from prosperity to squalor, from hope to despair. Even our children, especially our children, are not immune. What are we – what kind of men and women who will not look after our children? This murder of a child, by children. This should not have happened. The numerous atrocities we hear daily, should not happen. Will you awake now? Can we make a difference from this day on?

I’m so vividly reminded right now of “The Scouring of the Shire” where the folk don’t know what to do and the Horn of Rohan sounds clear in the evening air. We need that Horn right now. We need that clarion call to wake up a nation to the evil being done to it. To you. To me.

I don’t know what good deed I must have done to deserve the kind and generous people I know now, but thank you all from the innermost part of whatever I am. Thank you for your love and support. Each one of you knows how much I love you.

Memorials for and news about Sean Luke:

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Please forgive us our sins

I … don’t know how to begin this. I never, never thought I would be writing something like this here. But I have to. I have to ask you to do this with me, for me. For a child so brutally murdered … dear God I can’t even imagine.

For those of you who mightn’t know, I’m from the island of Trinidad in the Carribean. Over the weekend, in Trinidad, a child, a six-year-old boy, was taken into a canefield and sodomized. To death. Two 14-year-old boys have been arrested and are accused with sodomizing the boy, Sean Luke, with a cane stalk so brutally that his internal organs were destroyed and his lungs punctured.

I can’t tell you … I can’t … My girlfriend at work, also from Trinidad told me this as I was going out for my walk at lunch. You know, something normal – going to eat. We talked of all the wrong that is happening in our home, the heartbreak we feel, the disgust for the morally decrepit, irresponsible and socially inept morons running the country into oblivion. But this … ? As she talked, it sank in – what she had said about this child, this small child. It went into my skin, through it and into my soul.

I couldn’t eat. I could hardly walk. I don’t know how I got back here. Maybe I stumbled. I don’t know. She said she got cold and shut herself in a room and cried and cried. I could hardly keep from sobbing on the sidewalk. My heart is beating so fast from just trying to make it to my office without falling apart. And now, I can’t stop. My sobbing doesn’t do anything for little Sean, or for his mother. But, my god, as a mother, as a human being, I can hurt.

What is happening to my country? If there is an overarching power, what has it to say about this? He isn’t the first child and he won’t be the last. WHY? Why does this have to happen. Why is it happening there? WHY?????? Look at this little face: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=147130599

What could he ever have done? What will his mother do now? What does this say about us as a people? Are humans always destined to have such evil prevail over the innocents? Why damnit?!?

You know as a parent, you go through the whole “My god, what if this was my child” routine. But as certainly as there is a sun in the sky, I would go insane. Sean’s mother is said to have shut down completely. Of course, she is in shock. How will she cope with the knowledge of the agonizingly slow and painful death of her child? At the hands of other children. How will she function? I want to reach out and just hold her, but what good would it do? If it was me, who could possibly comfort me?

My friend, her words they have gone into me, deep inside. All I have right now is a cold, slimy sensation. I feel nauseous, more than physically. I want to vomit out whatever belongs to the land where I was born. Which is all of me isn’t it? For the first time in my life, I feel that way. It sickens me. I love my home. I love that island more than any other place in this world. And they have their share of atrocities, this is not the first. But this one goes deep. Like a knife pushed into the soul, the heart of what we are.

Here is my request. People are asking that we wear black tomorrow (http://news.bn.gs/index.php) to remember Sean and other young people killed in the ever-escalating violence in Trinidad. I’ll be wearing black for him. I would ask you if you can, would you please wear something or carry something black as well? Even something small.

You may not be from Trinidad, but it doesn’t matter. We are all one family, one people. That’s a beautiful thing in Canada, in this world. If you can, please, please remember him. And thank you.

For Sean,

I can only say sorry
my heart can only break
for you

I can only wish that angels
hold you now
safe and protected

I can only love you
in the sad, empty way
of a stranger, come too late
to help

But know that if I could have
protected you, if any of us
could have

My god, son, we would have
fought for you
All we have left is tears

The smell of spring

I just noticed something this morning … The air has the scent of spring. I’m not sure how to describe it – maybe you know what I mean – but it feels … fresh, new. It’s not a smell really, but there’s a fullness, an expectancy in the coolness of it. It’s not like winter that has a kind of deep, introspective feeling. When you breathe it in, you think of snow and the deep sleep of nature. This morning I got something different – a kind of aliveness, some quality in the breeze that isn’t warmth, but lets you know that spring is on the way. Heh … or I could just be crazy …

No regrets

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Tolkien Reading Day

A day late, yet allow me to wish all Tolkien fans a very happy and literate Tolkien Reading Day! The Tolkien Society chose March 25th as Tolkien Reading Day, to coincide with the destruction of the Ring and the start of a new society, the Age of Men – and here we are. Men (and a hell of a lot of Women). In our Age. What an Age it is, no?

If you don't like Tolkien, then, um … Happy Day to you. And really the rest of this won't be interesting for you. At least I doubt it will be.

Well, our group's been meeting for about six months now to talk and plan and express our love for Tolkien's work, but what made yesterday different is that we were, for the first time, participating in a larger event. At least two of us are now members of the Tolkien Society and our little group can now be called a smial. To celebrate, we participated in Tolkien Reading Day, meeting up at a comfy restaurant (one of our staples, Pickle Barrel) with our books, our laughter and our friendship.

Before I go further, I have to reach out and hug everyone who was missed. Melly my lovely, Tamar, Margo, and wonderful Paulina, we missed you!! Martin, my dearest, dearest lad, I missed you so much in that little group. I kept wondering "What would Martin read today?" so you know you're going to have to sign in here and tell me. And Coralie, my dear, how I missed you as well. I should have brought along a bit of your story to read in your honour, but I forgot to do it. You have such a great, dramatic voice – I could just hear you in my head.

I brought the boy (because I bring him just about everywhere) and after a lot of drama, he read us a riddle from The Hobbit. He fidgeted a bit toward the end, but we'd been there for more than 4 hours, so fidgeting was allowed. You guys will be pleased to know his excellent behaviour was rewarded with pizza. 🙂

It was such fun to get together and share laughs and stories. Our hobbit Frodo wondered if we'd had some ale before she got there, we were so giggly. And when we got to the readings, for me what happened was quite unexpected. Emotions long … forgotten? … hidden? … anticipated and therefore overcome? … well, emotions long gone to someplace other, came up to the surface again. When Frodo read the prophetic poem that brought Boromir to the Council of Elrond, I got shivers; it hasn't happened for a long time. When Jo read the passage where Sam reflects upon the star he sees while in Mordor … I got that tight feeling in my throat that warns of imminent tears. And I almost didn't finish reading the last scene in the book because the emotions of it were at the surface.

It is such a great way to enjoy this work together and to find out how each person interprets the same words. And it's really wonderful to have friends who love the same thing, especially when you've grown up (like I did) concealing your love of Tolkien's work. It's a tremendous to share that passion and joy with others. I really felt that joy during the readings, especially during the Man in the Moon song!

It's very comforting to be with great friends like this. And I'm sure in years to come, we'll have more days like it, but I'll never forget this one. This was really a great day about fellowship and true enjoyment of one another. I guess I'm a bit on the solitary side, and so being with a group like this is always uplifting and a little amazing.

I often feel like Sam at the end of the book. A times, I just stare and stare out over the waters, waves moving with purposeful restlessness against each other under stars, the rest of the world waiting patiently for me to come back to it, like Merry and Pippin, a warm and comforting presence at my back. And I … I'm lost over the waves, with friends and a story that will never return. I have that heaviness of heart, like Sam still a little torn between those he has loved, the grandeur of that story and the absolute rightness of his place at home.

Well, we can still be of the story, although we aren't in the story. And the old stories, they don't really end, do they?

(Hehe Frodo, when I came here today, I realized that I should have known the poem. It's right here in my blog!!)